Legal Dictionary


Definition of stock


  • enPR: stŏk, IPA: /stɒk/, SAMPA: /stQk/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɒk


    Old English stoc


stock (countable and uncountable; plural stocks)

  1. (operations) A store of goods ready for sale; inventory.

    We have a stock of televisions on hand.

  2. A supply of anything ready for use.

    Lay in a stock of wood for the winter season.

  3. Any of the several species of cruciferous flowers in the genus Matthiola.
  4. Farm or ranch animals.
  5. Railroad rolling stock.
  6. (finance) The capital raised by a company through the issue of shares. The total of shares held by an individual shareholder.
  7. The part of a rifle or shotgun that rests against the shooter's shoulder.
  8. (nautical) A bar going through an anchor, perpendicular to the flukes.
  9. (nautical) The axle attached to the rudder, which transfers the movement of the helm to the rudder.
  10. (uncountable, countable) Broth made from meat or vegetables, used as a basis for stew or soup.
  11. The type of paper used in printing.

    The books were printed on a heavier stock this year.

  12. A wide necktie popular in the eighteenth century, often seen today as a part of formal wear for horse riding competitions.
  13. In a card game, a stack of undealt cards made available to the players.
  14. (geology) A pipe (vertical cylinder of ore)


  • (farm or ranch animals): livestock
  • (railroad equipment): rolling stock
  • (axle attached to rudder): rudder stock


to stock (third-person singular simple present stocks, present participle stocking, simple past and past participle stocked)

  1. To have on hand for sale.

    The store stocks all kinds of dried vegetables.


stock (not comparable)

  1. Normally available for purchase.

    stock items
    stock sizes

  2. Straightforward, plain, very basic

    That band is quite stock
    He gave me a stock answer

See also

  • DJIA
  • foodstock


  • Alphagram: ckost
  • tocks

Further reading

The stock or capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid or invested into the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors. Stock is distinct from the property and the assets of a business which may fluctuate in quantity and value.

The stock of a business is divided into shares, the total of which must be stated at the time of business formation. Given the total amount of money invested into the business, a share has a certain declared face value, commonly known as the par value of a share. The par value is the de minimis (minimum) amount of money that a business may issue and sell shares for in many jurisdictions and it is the value represented as capital in the accounting of the business. In other jurisdictions, however, shares may not have an associated par value at all. Such stock is often called non-par stock. Shares represent a fraction of ownership in a business. A business may declare different types (classes) of shares, each having distinctive ownership rules, privileges, or share values.

Ownership of shares is documented by issuance of a stock certificate. A stock certificate is a legal document that specifies the amount of shares owned by the shareholder, and other specifics of the shares, such as the par value, if any, or the class of the shares.

Used in the plural, stocks is often used as a synonym for shares. Traditionalist demands that the plural stocks be used only when referring to stock of more than one company are rarely heard nowadays.

In the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, stock can also refer to completely different financial instruments such as government bonds or, less commonly, to all kinds of marketable securities.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     landed property
2.     common stock
3.     lex situs
4.     lex causae
5.     lex fori
6.     status quo
7.     buggery
8.     conclusive presumption
9.     interlocutory
10.     writ of seizure and sale